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A taste of California in downtown Winnipeg

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Here's a quick plug for my friends down at the Winnipeg Free Press News Cafe: they're hosting a California-themed food and wine night this Thursday (December 1) starting at 7:00 p.m.. Guests will enjoy six Cal-themed hors d'oeuvres (including lamb, beef, pork, and seafood dishes) paired with wines from the Golden State. The tentative list of wines, as chosen by The Winehouse:

- Flip Flop Pinot Grigio

- Ferrari Carano Fume Blanc.

- Caymus Conundrum (side note: I tried this wine last week again and it's great - a fun blend of white grapes)

- Cycles Gladiator Pinot Noir

- Bogle Vineyards Petit Syrah/ Easton Zinfandel

- Layer Cake Cabernet Sauvignon

Tickets are $60 per person, and are available at the Winnipeg Free Press News Cafe or by calling 942-0682.

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You might remember a couple of weeks back I did a column on wine and bacon, and mentioned the local event called Baconfest that's happening tomorrow night. Organizers tell me all the spots that were selling tickets are now sold out, but that there may be a handful of tickets (like, under 10) at the door tomorrow after 6:00 p.m.

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If you're looking to stock up on a mixed bag of reds and whites this holiday season, it might be worth your while to snoop around at some of Winnipeg's private wine stores. Many have put together "holiday cases" (name may vary) - 12 bottles of good-value white and red wine that they often sell for a slightly discounted price. I've had good luck with these types of promotions in the past and have found some gems as a result.

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Oh yeah, I'm heading to my first Jets game tonight against the Ottawa Senators - do they have a decent wine list at the MTS Centre? ;)

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Follow me on Twitter for more: @thegrapenut or "Like" my Facebook page to be kept in the loop if Twitter ain't your thing.

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About Ben MacPhee-Sigurdson

When he wasn't bashing on a drum kit in local punk rock bands, Ben spent the mid '90s hucking cases of wine around to pay for two English degrees. Now he's the Winnipeg Free Press wine columnist and blogger.

The extent of Ben's wine experience in the mid-90s was memories of accidentally leaving a bottle of White Zinfandel in the freezer overnight, and the ensuing mess he was left with. Between 1996 and 2005 Ben absorbed all he could about wine while working at wine shops to pay for school. Meanwhile, he was churning out papers for his BA and MA in English (from the Universities of Winnipeg and Manitoba, respectively).

Ben became the Winnipeg Free Press' weekly wine columnist in 2005, and two years later joined Wine Access magazine as a contributor, a member of their national tasting panel and a judge at the Canadian Wine Awards and International Value Wine Awards until the magazine closed up shop in 2013.

In 2013 Ben joined the Winnipeg Free Press as a copy/web editor.

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